Typhoon 2

The pandemic put pay to the traditional Mirs Bay Regatta, last held in 2019. The old weekend format included a Saturday race to Mirs Bay, a BBQ party and overnighter at Wong Shek, and a return pursuit race on the Sunday. For this, the third year, and second race in the UK Sailmakers Typhoon Series 2023, an alternative was adopted with just a Mirs Bay Race held on Sunday, the 25th of June 2023.

Given the relatively light conditions, the race officer, Inge Strompf, was keen to venture out to appraise the situation and decide which of the five prescribed courses to select. She found a southeasterly breeze off Shelter Island, oscillating between 3 and 7 knots, and dropped anchor. However, as the first warning signal approached the wind swung to the south, so an adjusted 335-metre start line was laid, along with a club windward mark at 160 degrees.

The courses were selected but then the breeze began to ease and the RO was forced to consider shorter options. Fortunately, though, the wind picked up to a consistent 7 knots and Strompf settled on her original more interesting courses.

With only five courses to choose from, ranging from 32 nautical miles to Shek Ngau Chau (Gau Tau) and back and 14 nautical miles to the Gate (east of Conic Island) and back, Course 21 (26 nautical miles) was selected for IRC A & B and HKPN A. Course 23 (22 nautical miles) was given to IRC C, HKPN B and J/80s and Course 24 (14 nautical miles) to the DC29 Voyages Club fleet.

On schedule at 1100, the five IRC A boats and 10 IRC B boats crossed the start line in 4 knots heading for the Club Mark, East Nine Pin (P), Gate, Tai Long Wan Mark (S), Offshore Mark (S) and back, via a Basalt Mark, to Table .

The second start was for the six boats in IRC C. They were joined by Havoc which, incidentally, was supposed to start in the third start. Their course was similar to Course 21 but excluded East Nine Pin. Instead, after rounding the Club Mark, they headed straight for the Gate.

Twenty of the 22 entries in HKPN A on the longer course and six of the seven J/80s on Course 23 got away at 1110 in 6 knots.

The 14 HKPN B boats followed five minutes later on Course 23 joined by the late-starting J/80 Jazz. Despite warnings from the committee boat, three kayaks crossed the starting area and narrowly avoided being run down by Scintilla and AmaZe.

The race officer then hoisted the AP postponement flag to allow the fleet of five DC29s to assemble and then get away at 1130, but also joined by the DC29 Voyages 56, which was late for its HKPN A start at 1110.  Having rounded the windward Club Mark they headed for the Gate and then back to the Basalt Mark. There, like the rest of the fleet, the class and division races were shortened.

The TP52, Phoenix, in IRC A, despite having completed an additional four miles, was first to reach the Gate, just before the A35, Dexter II, in IRC C. They were followed by the Ker 46, Zannekin, also in IRC A, and the IRC C J/109, Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack.

The future Seafarer Racing Team on Jive led the J/80s through the Gate, followed by Footloose.
The Beneteau First 44.7, Harpseal, was the first HKPN B boat to reach the Gate, followed by the Hanse 370, Zoe.

Having rounded East Nine Pin, Capitano, a Cape 31 was the first IRC B boat to reach the Gate, followed by its sistership, Out of Africa.

The Ker 11.3, Minnie the Moocher, in HKPN A, reached the Gate first, hotly pursued by the MC31, H3O. Several of the HKPN A boats struggled on the downwind leg to the Gate, perhaps more suited to those flying asymmetric spinnakers, with Temujin spotted at one stage washing its kite.

Voyages 32 was the first of the five DC29s to reach the Gate closely followed by Voyages 55, which initially struggled to make it through the Gate. Later, on the return journey, Voyages 59 had difficulties making headway off Basalt and subsequently retired.

Other than the DC29s, and having passed through the Gate, the fleet rounded the Tai Long Wan Mark to starboard, followed by a starboard rounding of the Offshore Mark, before heading to the Basalt Mark.

For many, the courses were probably too long given the relatively light conditions, although the 5-7 knots held for most of the day. Fortunately the race officer was able to shorten the race at the Basalt Mark.

Phoenix in IRC A completed its race in an elapsed time of three hours 18 minutes and 34 seconds to take line honours, whilst the Bavaria 42 Cruiser, Xakanaxa, in HKPN A completed the same course in six hours 18 minutes and 47 seconds to bring up the rear.

The prize-giving was held back at the Garden Bar, beside which part of the car park had been set up for barbecuing. Crews were invited to bring their own BBQ or purchase packs from the Club, all washed down with the sponsored San Miguel.

Whilst most of the 69 boats enjoyed the day and BBQ function, several parties indicated they missed the earlier format and the BBQ party and overnight stay at Wong Shek. Something to think about for next year.


Line Honours  1st Place  2nd Place 3rd place
IRC A Phoenix  Zannekin  Phoenix Unicorn
IRC B Capitano Nightshift Capitano Out of Africa
IRC C Dexter II  Dexter II  Juice  Whiskey Jack
J/80 Jive Jive Footloose Jelik 6
HKPN A H3O  North Star Crystal*  Jibulai
HKPN B Zoe  Zoe  Ma Cherie 2e Pepper & Salt
DC 29 Voyages 32 Voyages 32 Voyages   55  Voyages 50


              *Subject to protest by Krampus for a port / starboard incident at the Club Mark

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